UP Law Center IPD holds successful Legal Research Colloquium
Last September 4, 2023, the Information and Publication Division (IPD) of the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center successfully conducted the “Colloquium on Legal Research in the Digital Age”. The Colloquium provided an avenue for the discussion of various topics involving legal research aiming to elevate the quality of scholarly work to, in turn, improve the quality of legal education and the practice of law.
The Colloquium started with a briefer delivered by Assistant Professor Michael T. Tiu, Jr., Head of IPD. Assistant Professor Tiu laid out the objectives and goals of the event while giving emphasis on the mandate of IPD as an institution for public service. This was followed by an opening message delivered by the College of Law Dean, Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II. Dean Vistan stated that information has become accessible in the digital age, yet we have problems with the quality and accuracy of information that we get. To address these issues, Dean Vistan said that “(R)esearch is the front-line action. The fountainhead of any effort or campaign to get to the truth and do the right thing.”
The highlights of the event were the speeches delivered by the two highest officials of the Philippine Judiciary: Supreme Court Chief Justice Hon. Alexander G. Gesmundo and Senior Associate Justice Hon. Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen.
Justice Leonen delivered a message where he highlighted the digitization efforts of the Supreme Court, such as the digitization of the bar examinations and the E. Philippine Report System. Justice Leonen also noted that the Colloquium is relevant as a briefing on legal research that is essential for legal professionals, law students, and the public. However, Justice Leonen encouraged the participants to go beyond mere consumption of available digital technologies in identifying laws and jurisprudence. He noted how the UP Law Center has produced the kind of critical legal research that provoked public discussion and recodification of our laws. According to Justice Leonen, digitalization will not just allow us precisely to identify the laws, rules, and jurisprudence but it will lead us to “reflecting, reimagining, rewriting so that we are able to truly translate the law better so that it embodies social justice.”
In his keynote speech, Chief Justice Gesmundo acknowledged how technology has positively affected legal research for both law students and lawyers. The Chief Justice noted the importance of utilization of emerging technologies to power the judiciary’s reform agenda. The reform agenda, according to the Chief Justice, aims to develop and establish a resilient information and communication technology infrastructure for the judiciary. According to the Chief Justice, digital transformation of the judiciary serves as a potent arsenal in the long battle against the problems of inefficiency, delay, and corruption. To end his address, the Chief Justice emphasized that legal research must contribute to assisting the court in doing justice to every case.
Then, the Colloquium proceeded with the discussion of the Basics and Methods of Social Science Research by Dr. Aries A. Arugay, Chairperson and Professor of the Department of Political Science of UP – Diliman. This was followed by the discussion of the topic Basics and Methods of Research: Statistician’s Perspective delivered by Assistant Professor and Director for Research of the School of Statistics of UP Diliman, Engr. Xavier Javines Bilon. Afterward, a discussion regarding the Evolution of Legal Research was conducted by Professor Marilia Beatriz Higa through Zoom. To conclude the morning session, Atty. Alfred Molo III, a Senior Lecturer at the UP College of Law and Editor-in-Chief of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Journal, delivered his reaction to the discussion of Professor Higa.
The afternoon sessions began with a discussion through Zoom by Dr. Imelda B. Deinla, Senior Lecturer of Law at the University of New England (AU), on the topic of Legal Research Methods. This was followed by the presentation of Assistant Professor Emerson Bañez, Director of the Institute for the Administration of Justice UP Law Center, on the topic of Digital Research Tools. Thereafter, Assistant Professor Michael Tiu, Jr. gave his reaction to the discussions of Dr. Deinla and Assistant Professor Bañez.
The next topic of Ethical Issues in Legal Research was discussed by Atty. Tanya Karina A. Lat, Graduate Program Coordinator and Professorial Lecturer of the UP College of Law. Afterward, the topic of Plagiarism and Misinformation was discussed by Atty. Cristina Regina Bonoan, Senior Lecturer of the UP College of Law. Finally, Atty. Paolo Emmanuel Tamase, Senior Lecturer of UP College of Law, gave his reaction to the discussions of Atty. Lat and Atty. Bonoan.
The UP Law Center hopes that the more than 500 participants who have attended in person and through Zoom have found the Colloquium valuable in inspiring them to conduct legal research more efficiently. The UP Law Center also expresses its gratitude to the speakers and reactors who have shared their valuable expertise and insights. The summary of all the messages and discussions in the Colloquium will be made available in a booklet which will be published in December 2023.